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Advertising Your Business

May 12, 2008
Marketing your business is one of the most fundamental steps in achieving success. In order to have a successful, established business, it's important to be sure you're advertising your business in an effective, value for money way that's likely to generate a return on investment. After all, all advertising was not created equal, and where some advertising campaigns may turn out to be incredibly successful, others will have less of a short term effect.

Crucial to learning to properly market your business is determining the difference between brand advertising and direct response advertising. Direct response advertising is far more important, at least in the short term, to the success of your business. This is advertising that demands an action from the target, such as details of a specific offer or promotion or availability of goods. This is advertising designed to tug at the emotions of customers, prompting them into action, and it is this form of marketing that will boost sales and cash flow in the short term.

The alternative, and less effective for a new or small business is brand advertising. While this might be a successful technique in some niche markets, more generally it's a more expensive way of building sales than employing direct response advertising techniques. By strategically promoting the brand and the underlying brand values, this form of advertising ultimately vicariously promotes the individual products and helps build customer loyalty. Deciding which route it most relevant to your business is the first step in ensuring you are advertising your business properly and effectively.

Brand advertising is pretty effective for big businesses or a business in a particular small market niche which may find it profitable to appear to be a brand leader. However it does require much more significant investment, because of the lack of direct response generated and the more subtle effect it has on bottom line sales. Thus for a new business on a start-up budget, it might be best to steer clear of brand advertising - at least, initially.

The next step is to find some way of tracking your return on investment (i.e. response) from each specific advertising campaign. This could be achieved by only advertising one offer through a particular medium, or by advertising with slightly different phone numbers to manually record the number of leads from two different advertising strategies. Also, remember to take account of the cost of different advertising campaigns, to work out overall which advertising strategies are most cost effective for your business.

Finally, advertising your business must be viewed as a cumulative process. To start with, going for direct offers is the best way to encourage first-time business, which could translate into a loyal customer based. Continuing to grow your business through advertising of this nature is perfectly plausible, and over time it may even prove cost effective to switch to some brand advertising techniques. Therefore it's important not to rush in to advertising in a particular way - every little bit helps to support the overall business image.
About the Author
CityLocal is a Business Directory & Business Franchise Opportunity. Our Internet & Computer franchises allow you to work from home and be Your Own Boss in UK & Ireland. Find out more by going to www.citylocal.co.uk and www.citylocal.ie
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